Good Horse Racing Movies?

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Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by moira finnie »

Watching The Kentucky Derby getting rained on this year but loving it anyway I started wondering: Do you have any horse racing movies that you like?

I'd have to name National Velvet (natch), but I even liked International Velvet (1978-Bryan Forbes). Other flicks with this theme that I remember fondly are the less well known Broadway Bill (1934-Frank Capra), and another steeple chasing movie, Champions (1984-John Irvin).
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by Rita Hayworth »

Moira,

The Black Stallion - 1979 Movie that stars Mickey Rooney and earned him an Oscar nomination for his role as the trainer. It is by far one of the best and most popular of horse racing movies.

Hidalgo - This 2004 Movie, is about a Pony Express Rider about a race in the Arabian Desert - Wonderfully Made. I love the photography and drama that came with it.

Secretariat - To me, it is the best written and acted movie ever made in the past 20 years. Came out in 2010. Great Movie all around ...
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by The Ingenue »

I'm very fond of "The Great Dan Patch" (1949), with Dennis O'Keefe and Gail Russell and John Hoyt.
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by ChiO »

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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by moira finnie »

Rita Hayworth wrote:Moira,

The Black Stallion - 1979 Movie that stars Mickey Rooney and earned him an Oscar nomination for his role as the trainer. It is by far one of the best and most popular of horse racing movies.

Hidalgo - This 2004 Movie, is about a Pony Express Rider about a race in the Arabian Desert - Wonderfully Made. I love the photography and drama that came with it.

Secretariat - To me, it is the best written and acted movie ever made in the past 20 years. Came out in 2010. Great Movie all around ...
Good ones, Erik! I would never have thought of Hidalgo, a terrific flick, though I can't figure out why this movie has been so overlooked.
The Ingenue wrote:I'm very fond of "The Great Dan Patch" (1949), with Dennis O'Keefe and Gail Russell and John Hoyt.
Oh, I've never seen this one, Carrie. I love Gail Russell, am fascinated by Dennis O'Keefe's "Bob's Big Boy" hair style in everything, and simply adore John Hoyt.

I am not kidding. I love John Hoyt. People tend to only remember him for Star Trek and Gimme a Break! type shows, but he is a delightfully jaundiced character actor who never let the size of his part or the quality of a production prevent him from giving any part a dash of tart intellectualism mixed with sarcasm and a world weary shrug. I have been looking for his movies for ages (faves, which I could willingly watch occasionally just for his scenes: The Unfaithful, Winter Meeting, Trapped, When Worlds Collide, Androcles and the Lion, Désirée, The Big Combo and The Blackboard Jungle). Did you know that he was also Orson Welles former room mate/partner in hellraising? The young Welles was touring with Katherine Cornell and the older, steadier (ha!) John Hoyt, who had been teaching history at Groton before abandoning respectability for the hurly-burly of the stage was also in the company of Romeo and Juliet (neither was the lead, alas). Apparently, they were called on the carpet by Cornell and her stage manager hubby for partying a bit too heartily on the train as the strolling players wandered the hinterlands. Later Hoysradt, who only shortened his name when he went to Hollywood, toured the sophisticated nightclubs of the nation performing his comedy impersonations. I once read about a man who went to see him at The Rainbow Room. Apparently his imitation of the one man wonder Noel Coward was was so devastatingly good that he originated the part of Beverly Carlton parodying him in The Man Who Came to Dinner in '41. I don't think the movies ever really knew quite what to do with Hoyt, but he had some good martinet roles in classic tv shows like The Rifleman, The Twilight Zone (he was the alien with three arms in Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? in1961 and was the "father" of Inger Stevens The Lateness of the Hour in1960). Wonderful actor and fun to watch!

Best of all--here's Dan Patch on youtube! I can't wait to see this.

[youtube][/youtube]

BTW, you have reminded me of another harness racing movie I liked a great deal: Home in Indiana (1944) with Lon McAlister, Jeanne Crain, Walter Brennan and Ward Bond, Lovely coming-of-age film--and what there was about Indiana that inspired such good horse films?
[youtube][/youtube]
ChiO wrote:THE KILLING.
Good one, ChiO. Isn't this the one that stars Timothy Carey as the world's largest jockey who is hellbent on a win?
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by RedRiver »

Watching The Kentucky Derby getting rained on this year

I can top that. I'm in Kentucky, getting rained on! It's been almost nonstop this weekend. Certainly, the race sequence in THE QUIET MAN is enthralling. But I'm with Chio. The Kubrick Classic is your best bet.
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by clore »

SEABISCUIT is the best that I've seen, and this is coming from someone who has been handicapping thoroughbreds for 40 years.

PHAR LAP is another good one, and there's a link between this horse and Seabiscuit. Phar Lap's jockey Billy Elliott gave his saddle to George Woolf, the rider who subbed for the injured Red Pollard on Seabiscuit. Woolf used the saddle from then on, except for his very last race. In that race, Woolf was thrown from his horse and died the next day.

I sure wish that TCM would dig up WALL OF NOISE, a WB film about a trainer at Hollywood Park. It's been close to 50 years since i've seen it. SALTY O'ROURKE is a MIA Alad Ladd film that was directed by throughbred owner Raoul Walsh and also features frequent movie jockey Stanley Clements who was also in BOOTS MALONE with William Holden.

Capra's BROADWAY BILL deserves mention, as well as RIDING HIGH, Capra's own remake that serves up a ton of footage from the earlier film, including whole scenes just lifted from the original. Capra also rehired at least a half-dozen actors for the new footage, most match well except for Ward Bond. Nothing was done to hide the fact that his hair was turning white.
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by mrsl »

.
You can laugh at me, and it's not really a 'racing' movie, but I taped Spirit, Stallion of the Cimerron for my grand daughter years ago, and I still pull it out every now and then. It's a cartoon, of all things, but the story is great - a loving relationship between an Indian brave and his horse, and also a pretty pinto pony named Rain. The horse is captured and re-captured and finally returns to his Indian brave, but in the meantime, the story is fun and exciting for kids (and big kids like this Grandma).
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by MissGoddess »

The Black Stallion is my personal favorite, but others that haven't been mentioned which are worth seeing include:

Sporting Blood
(1931) - Clark Gable doesn't have much to work with in his character or a great deal of screen time, but what's there is cherce.

The Shamrock Handicap (1926) - Based on a story by Peter B. Kyne, who also wrote 3 Godfathers, this racing story features J. Farrell MacDonald---and a duck---who all but steal the show in this early John Ford comedy also starring Janet Gaynor. This silent is hard to find but full of charm.

A Day at the Races
- Well, we can't leave out "the boys"! :D


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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by Rita Hayworth »

clore wrote:SEABISCUIT is the best that I've seen, and this is coming from someone who has been handicapping thoroughbreds for 40 years.

PHAR LAP is another good one, and there's a link between this horse and Seabiscuit. Phar Lap's jockey Billy Elliott gave his saddle to George Woolf, the rider who subbed for the injured Red Pollard on Seabiscuit. Woolf used the saddle from then on, except for his very last race. In that race, Woolf was thrown from his horse and died the next day.
Two Great Movies ... Clore! :) I love Seabiscuit ... and PHAR LAP is so enduring, tragic, and well acted too.
MissGoddess wrote:The Black Stallion is my personal favorite, but others that haven't been mentioned which are worth seeing include:

Sporting Blood
(1931) - Clark Gable doesn't have much to work with in his character or a great deal of screen time, but what's there is cherce.

The Shamrock Handicap (1926) - Based on a story by Peter B. Kyne, who also wrote 3 Godfathers, this racing story features J. Farrell MacDonald---and a duck---who all but steal the show in this early John Ford comedy also starring Janet Gaynor. This silent is hard to find but full of charm.

A Day at the Races
- Well, we can't leave out "the boys"! :D


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Great List ... Miss Goddess ... I love A Day at the Races so much!
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by clore »

I should also mention DREAMER: INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY.

Well, most of the inspiration is pure fiction, but this is an old-fashioned horse story for kids, as might be expected with Dakota Fanning as the pivotal character. But there's also Kurt Russell, Kris Kristofferson and Elisabeth Shue, and if it does serve up a lot of cliches, it does it well enough to make one just feel good watching it.

Makes sure to get the 2006 Dreamworks wide-screen DVD, it's out there in several versions, including a newer 2013 release with no extras.
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by Rita Hayworth »

DREAMER is an excellent movie Clore and Dakota Fanning was marvelous in this one. You are so right Clore!
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by clore »

LET IT RIDE has Richard Dreyfuss in what is every horse player's dream - a day where he sweeps the card, winning every race. I had a day like that at Belmont many years ago, only I could not attend and all of my bets were made at OTB during my lunch hour. I hit on six of seven races and the only reason that I lost the last of the series of bets was because I filled out the ticket incorrectly.

I'm not complaining. ;)
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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by tinker »

clore wrote:
PHAR LAP is another good one, and there's a link between this horse and Seabiscuit. Phar Lap's jockey Billy Elliott gave his saddle to George Woolf, the rider who subbed for the injured Red Pollard on Seabiscuit. Woolf used the saddle from then on, except for his very last race. In that race, Woolf was thrown from his horse and died the next day.
I would not be a good Australian if I did not say PharLap as PharLap is Australia's national hero. They have him stuffed in the Melbourne museum and he is still the most looked at exhibition even if he has been dead for 80 years.

The Sundowners with Robert Mitcham and Deborah Kerr is not about racing but it has a big racing sequence in it. Just about the best movie about Australia made by non- Australians.


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Re: Good Horse Racing Movies?

Post by sandykaypax »

I'm late to this thread, AND I don't think anyone but me would call this a good movie, but I love Going Places (1938). Dick Powell is a sporting goods store clerk who impersonates a famous jockey. Anita Louise is the rich girl who he falls for, and Louis Armstrong is the groom for Jeepers Creepers, the wild horse that Powell has to ride. Several fun musical numbers, silly fun movie. One of those little gems that I went into expecting nothing and was utterly charmed by.

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